Vitalik Buterin Talks About What Bitcoin Developers Can Learn from Ethereum’s Journey

On July 7, Vitalik Buterin and Bitcoin supporters Eric Wall and Udi Wertheimer had a detailed discussion on what Bitcoin developers could learn from Ethereum developers in a Twitter SBlockingce. Eric Wall and Udi Wertheimer are two important figures in the Ordinals project Taproot Wizards. They publicly support Ordinals and often advocate for building enhanced functionality on the Bitcoin network. Buterin mentioned that he had studied the Pie Bitcoin tool and tried to create a Python library to do Bitcoin things. Buterin said that Ordinals revived Bitcoin’s “builder culture” and highly praised Ordinals and the BRC 20 standard, believing that this move was a push for the “stagnant” Bitcoin ecosystem. “Ordinals brings the Bitcoin ecosystem back to a culture of actual action, which is a good thing,” he said. In addition, the three discussed scalability issues in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Wall believed that the Lightning Network could not accommodate future users and often fails when processing “medium-sized payments.” In response, Buterin said that the best approach was to focus on implementing different types of Layer-2 solutions while looking for ways to make the Bitcoin base layer more efficient. However, Wertheimer believed that focusing on rollups and introducing Layer-2 was not bad, but once rollups were adopted, the Bitcoin network could deploy smart contracts. However, Wall and Wertheimer’s views were criticized by orthodox Bitcoin supporters. They believe that using NFTs and smart contracts on Bitcoin would weaken its main function as a peer-to-peer cash network. These critics include Jan 3 CEO Samson Mow, who believes that Ordinals wastes block space that could be used for Bitcoin payments. However, Wall responded that Bitcoin can be a “proof system” for zero-knowledge proofs and will not congest the network. “We (Bitcoin supporters) always want to do things related to DeFi, but we just want the Bitcoin base layer to act as a referee or arbitrator for computation without running computation on the chain,” he said. Wall also believed that we should not just see Layers as a way of payment, but that we could consider them to do more things. This discussion has sparked new controversy in the Bitcoin community, with Blockstream CEO Adam Beck taking a opposed stance. “We’ve told them what to avoid in terms of security/complexity, Bitcoin did smart things to avoid problems in 2014, and they ignore us and do the opposite, so I’m not sure how much there is to learn,” he said.

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